Saturday, June 18, 2016

12th Sunday in Ordinary Time

Suffer for love of Him

Luke 9:18-24

Jesus may have asked, "Who do people say I am?" but actually, he wants us to know him as one who suffers for our sake.

The first reading mentions it, "They will look on the one whom they have pierced; they will mourn for him as for an only son, and weep for him as people weep for a first-born child." (Zech 12, 10 - 11)

The Eucharist is not just a celebration of food and thanksgiving.  It is a remembrance of the sufferings of Christ.  Whenever we receive the Eucharist, salvation is attained at the expense of Jesus' offering of self on the cross.  Reception of the Eucharist is not a right to be demanded; but a gift freely given by God who loves us.

May we identify with the sufferings of Christ.  First, we need to know what we are suffering for.  For Jesus it is very clear, he had to suffer and die to save us.  To what are we suffering for?

Second, to suffer means to feel with those who are actually suffering.  We stop complaining not just because we don't have the luxuries but because we know there are those who are dying each day for lack of food and justice.  We need to empathize with them before we can help them.

Third, the path to heaven is a series of wounds inflicted by sin but healed by forgiveness and love.  This is our real connection with Jesus.  We live each day embracing our crosses, sacrifices, and sufferings to be totally united with him and with one another.

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